The subject of relationships can cause some people to smile. Yet for others, it creates confusion and pain as they look back at the harsh realities of old friends or loved ones who damaged their sense of trust. In other words, relationships have the ability to bring great joy or painful wounds. And because of these opposing ends, it’s important for us to look carefully to Scripture to understand how God desires us to deal with relationships. And we all must deal with them!
Let’s look at the multitude of relationships we’ll have in our lifetime.
- We have our relationship to our Creator.
- There is the bond of a child to a parent, and a parent to a child.
- Then we’ll have sibling relationships.
- Add to that the spouse we’ll be living with for a lifetime.
- And for the parents of a married children, we’ll have sons and daughters in-law.
- Our children may have brothers and sisters in-law. Oh, my! It’s getting complicated!
- And how about nieces and nephews that are added to the mix when siblings begin to have their own children.
- And they will have cousins.
Whew! No wonder we have issues with family!
Then to family we add everyone outside our family: neighbors, fellow church members, friends and family of friends, classmates, and employee/employer. We keep very busy keeping all these relationships intact. But thankfully, God knows our need and He offers us truth in the pages of His Word to help ease the stress.
God has a plan. I have to trust that. You have to trust that! He has a way in which we can prosper and grow and learn and teach in each of these varied relationships. We must look to scripture if we are to handle this complicated puzzle of people and personalities and strengths and weaknesses. And it is a puzzle!
So let’s put the pieces of this relationship puzzle together, piece by piece. I obviously don’t have all the answers, but God does. And I know that as we dig into His Word we’re bound to find truth that will reveal ways to build strong relationships and keep us from harm’s way in bad ones.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:3-7